MOSCOW, July 3 (UPI) -- Eight high-level foreign officials at the Moscow offices of the energy firm TNK-BP were granted work permits Thursday to remain in Russia, officials said.
TNK-BP merges British and Russian oil and natural gas assets. Russian officials with the firm complained TNK-BP had too many foreign staff at its Moscow office and called for the ouster of TNK-BP President Robert Dudley.
Dudley sent an e-mail statement to TNK-BP staff Tuesday telling them to get ready to leave the country in the event Moscow did not extend their work permits and visas.
"All expatriate staff may be affected, including myself, and may have no choice but to leave Russia by or before the end of July," Dudley said.
In a ceremony before reporters in Moscow Thursday, the Russian Federal Migration Service granted the necessary documents to top TNK-BP officials, including Dudley, RIA Novosti reported.
The permit director for the migration office, Oleg Artamonov, said his agency decided to fast-track the document renewal once it emerged the work permits and visas would expire July 10.
"So, to avoid any problems, we decided to accelerate granting permits to those employees," he said.